LeBron James Wants Isaiah Thomas to Bounce Back, 'Happy as Hell' for Dwyane Wade

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 2: Isaiah Thomas #3 listens to LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers at Quicken Loans Arena on January 2, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

On the heels of a whirlwind trade deadline day for the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James addressed the departures of Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade.

Speaking to the media Friday, James said he is hopeful that Thomas is able to find his game as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, according to ESPN.com: "I want Isaiah to get his bounce back, get his spring back, get healthy. You know, being out seven months is difficult for anybody. I just felt like he was playing behind the 8-ball. ... I wish the best for him. In L.A. right now and his future, I want him to get that bounce back, get that spring back."

LeBron also mentioned how thrilled he is that Wade was given the chance to return to the Miami Heat:

"Me and D-Wade? It ain't tough. I see him all the time. I'm happy as hell for D-Wade. He gets to go back home. That's how it should be. I've always felt that's where his heart and his mind was. I think it's going to be great for him. It wasn't tough. We're both 15 years in the league. We know how the business is. But more important, we know we see each other all the time anyway, so, 'get out of here, D-Wade.'"

Wade was sent to Miami for a protected second-round draft pick, while the Cavs traded Thomas, Channing Frye and a first-round draft pick to L.A. for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr.

Cleveland also completed a three-team trade Wednesday that sent Jae Crowder and Derrick Rose to the Utah Jazz, and Iman Shumpert to the Sacramento Kings. In return, the Cavaliers received guard Rodney Hood from Utah and guard George Hill from Sacramento.

The Cavs significantly altered their roster, leaving only a handful of core players in place, including Tristan Thompson, JR Smith and the injured Kevin Love.

Overall, James felt the team made some quality moves and added pieces that could help in its pursuit of a fourth consecutive NBA Finals appearance: "I think we became a younger team, more athletic. We added some more shooting as well. So, we'll have to see how it meshes. I like the pieces that we have coming in."

Cleveland is coming off a 140-138 overtime win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, but it is just 5-9 over its past 14 games.

With a record of 31-22, the Cavs are third in the Eastern Conference and trail the first-place Boston Celtics by 7.5 games.

The Cavaliers will have a chance to test out their new-look roster Friday night when they travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks.

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